5 Steps Manufacturers Should Take Before Investing Into New Technology

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With more technology available for manufacturers than ever before, many manufacturers feel compelled to buy up all the new tech they can get their hands on, this is similar to those who buy bitcoin. Manufacturers can find themselves facing a serious problem if they begin investing into technology, but don’t have the systems or means to have the technology benefit their operation. Also, some of the technology might not be the best choice for a specific business. This is why it may be beneficial for companies to understand how we got to this point in terms of innovation. The computerization and subsequent automation have influenced and impacted our world in a life-changing manner. this has been dubbed the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. If you are asking yourself what is the fourth industrial revolution, then you may want to research further to understand its importance. We will be discussing the 5 steps a manufacturer needs to take in order to ensure their investment in new technology doesn’t go to waste.

  1. Goals

The first thing any manufacturer should do before investing in any new technology is to discuss, and write down, a clear goal of what they want to achieve from new these technology solutions. So, if your boss is in talks of implementing restaurant consulting software to the business, maybe it would benefit you in asking what this will do for the company. I’m sure it will improve the business overall, but there is no harm in asking. Without a clear goal in mind, a manufacturer could end up wasting money on unnecessary systems or worse, purchase technology they will never use. The goal should be realistic enough to achieve and can always be revisited once the system is operational. If a goal is unrealistic and unachievable, there will be no way to track the success of the new systems.

  1. Plan

The next important step will be to have a plan in place to implement the new technology into an already operational facility. This can be tricky – if a facility has already been operational for decades, implementing new technology into these legacy systems can prove difficult. Working closely with the technology provider will be crucial in coming up with a plan to implement the new technology. Many software and hardware providers are aware of the issues that may arise in a manufacturing facility, and close collaboration could prove greatly beneficial. Software and hardware providers that have experience working with manufacturers could offer suggestions based on their previous clients.

Collaboration is also important between departments. When planning on bringing new systems and technology into a manufacturing operation, all departments, sales, marketing, logistics, and any others, should be involved in the planning process. This is because the technology chosen might have a direct impact on their day-to-day operations, as well as the entire organization. If a department isn’t on the same page about how these new systems will impact their work, the technology might not be used to its full potential.

  1. Implementation

Implementation is a very important step and must be done correctly, or all of a manufacturer’s time, energy and money that was invested in modernizing their business could go to waste. New manufacturing technology solutions are largely centered around the Internet of Things. The connected facility that manufacturers are looking to achieve may not be possible if new software and hardware is not installed properly and connected to the necessary cloud systems. This is another step in which close collaboration with the technology provider is necessary. The knowledge they will bring to the table can ensure all systems are connected properly and everything is working correctly. A manufacturing operation may not have staff qualified to set up all of the programs and hardware that new technology comes along with. A seasoned professional could be a manufacturer’s best bet when implementing new technology solutions.

  1. Training

When it comes to new technology, every employee that will be working with it must be educated on how to use the systems to their maximum potential. If employees are not comfortable with the new technology, they will fall back into old habits and the manufacturers investment will go to waste. A plan must be put into place to train all of the employees that will be using the new technology. It will help speed up the training process if just the supervisors were trained and they passed that knowledge down to their staff. Additionally, it would be helpful to check if the technology provider offers courses of their own training programs. If employees receive training from the source, they can ask all the questions they have and be sure they are getting the right information. If the technology provider does not offer training, outside help may be required. The most important thing to remember is that if employees are not trained properly the new technology will go to waste.

  1. Review

Once a manufacturer decides on the new systems they want to employ, they have a plan, have implemented the technology throughout their business, and trained all essential employees, there’s one more step to ensure the manufacturers investment does not go to waste. Reviewing the data before implementation and after will be the best way for businesses to gauge their success. Manufacturers need to look back at their goals and see how close they are to actually reaching them. If the new technology is not immediately performing as well as the manufacturer would like, don’t fret. These new systems can take time before everyone feels comfortable with them. Looking through the data and pinpointing where problems present themselves can help manufacturers address the issues in a timely manner. This is why having a goal is so important. If a manufacturer didn’t present a clear-cut goal, there would be no way to check if the new technology was worth the investment.

Manufacturers have so many options when choosing new technology for their business. It’s vital they take the necessary steps before investing into any kind of new systems. Without a clear-cut goal, a plan, proper implementation, and training, a manufacturer is setting themselves up for failure. The new technology that is out there for manufacturers has the potential to greatly increase productivity and efficiency, but taking the right steps will ensure a manufacturer’s money doesn’t go to waste.